Rating (3 out of 5)
Summary: “The Kid Who Would Be King” (King) met expectations of a fun natured kids movie. While fulfilling expectations, the movie fails to strike any new and original chords with the audience and results in a flat movie. “King” brought something new and unusual moments, but then lost its way again. I wouldn’t rush to buy tickets to view “King”, but if you are looking to entertain the kids, you might want to try it.
Plot: Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) pulls the sword from the stone and sets out with his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) to save the world from Morgana’s (Rebecca Ferguson) return.
Detail: Young Merlin (Angus Imrie) and Old Merlin (Patrick Stewart) steal the movie. The director/writer showed originality in the use of hand, arm and finger movements for Merlin to cast a spell. Merlin also requires more energy to cast his spells, and they sprinkle in humor explaining the source of that energy. Angus Imrie was terrific and hope to see him in more roles in the future.
“King” provides a unique and fun explanation of Stonehenge and rocks spread throughout London. The Stonehenge explanation married with the hand motion really added a nice element to the movie.
The kids, Alex, Bedders, Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) were rather lifeless as a team. The director has forgotten the Power Ranger Formula and the group never clicks. The movie is devoid of any humor unless Merlin is on screen.
I have a problem with quite a few scenes. One, if you include a training scene, then the training scene must set up a key element to be utilized later on in the film or the scene is worthless. In “King”, Merlin has the team train with trees (don’t ask), but then Morgana gets involved, and the training ceased. We needed the training scene to provide credibility to the kids when battling later on in the film.
The next problematic scene occurred when the children steal some horses and ride through the forest, battling Morgana’s soldiers. One, where did city kids learn to ride horses so well. Two, the special effects were horrible. If you can’t do the scene well, reimagine the scene, a directors job.
I thoroughly enjoyed the animation telling the story of Arthur and the sword to start the movie. Was disappointed this animation didn’t appear more throughout “King”.
Joe Wright is the writer/director of “King” and writer/director of “Attack the Block”. “King” suffers from the same problems as “Attack the Block”, except the characters on “Attack the Block” were a bit more compelling and the PG-13 rating added a bit of excitement missing from “King”. Joe Wright is a decent writer, but needs a collaborator like Edgar Wright to improve the script. His directing talent appears to be solid.